DAILY LIVING & MOBILITY

Everyday I'm Shuffling

Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)

Chris Moore

Insurance Tango

I'm terrible at titles and naming things. I was referred to this website, from my Instagram feed, to tell my story. It's a long one, and I am sorry for that, but I feel it does need to be told. At 15 I had dislocated my knee and had fallen hard. Aside from the damage to my knee, I noticed a lot of back pain. At first it was just shrugged off, and told it'd be fine. Through out highschool I still had that pain and soreness. As an adult in 2007, my hips and back went out. I was told to lay on the floor, and "That it happens, and everyone hurts." So... I laid on the floor, and it seemed to be alright after. Then about a month after, it went out again. So I went to a chiropractor, because everyone I knew said that would help. It did, for a little bit.

What was wrong

That's when I found out my hips were displaced, and that caused the back pain, and my back to go out. He told me I needed to see a doctor, and I made an appointment. I eventually had to quit my job because I couldn't deal with the pain in my back and hips. I couldn't just keep popping Tylenol and ibuprofen, and paying out of pocket to see the chiropractor. I'll never forget the horrible experience of my first doctor visit. Dr. Palladino. An older, squat kind of man. All business. At the time my health care was county aid. Because I was under 32 hours a week. This was back when minimum wage was about 8.50. The man jabbed me in the back, to see if I felt pain. I keeled over against the bed table thing in tears. Then he told me to pick up a pencil. I couldn't do it without using the chair to squat down to get it. At the time I didn't know this was some sort of "test". After that, he flat out told me I was" Overweight and Lazy".

No answers

I had only been off work for a month or two, and had applied for disability, that I paid into, so I could get help and get better. He refused to sign my paperwork, even when my rep wanted him to sign that he at least saw me and I was out of work for a month. I have a lot of nice, fancy words that probably aren't suitable on a public website for him. I never went back to that office, and toughed it out for about 9 years. Spasms, sharp pains, and discomfort. Every now and then it'd go out and I'd be I bed for about two days, and soaking in hot baths every night. Then, April 29th, my back finally gave out and that was it. I was incapacitated. I hurt so bad that I was shaking uncontrollably and nauseated. I was taken to the ER, thinking they could find out what was wrong. Dr Shawn Brady. I'll never forget, and I make sure I tell people to refuse to have him see them. All he did was tank on my legs, and treated me like I was some sort of junkie. At the time, I couldn't handle most opioids. I didn't even ask for narcotics. I was begging to find out why I couldn't move without excruciating pain, nor move my left leg. I had to be lifted from the car and put into a wheel chair, and the assistant nurse had the audacity to ask me how I was going to manage at home, after the doctor dismissed me after making me lie there on a bed, in tears. I never cry. I've always been taught that tears and pain are weakness.

Finally

So I always sucked it up and walked it off... But I couldn't walk this off. I had to go into work, asking for medical leave because I didn't know what was wrong. I was scrambling to get a hold of my favorite doctor. His assistant got me in, and they both told me I had herniated a disk. It was a classic case. So we planned on a three month recovery time, x-rays, and an MRI. My insurance denied everything except the xrays. Four times. So, my doctor asked for every single shot of my hips, lower back and upper back. He didn't want to miss anything. In the meantime, I slowly forced myself to walk. I was running out of time for my medical leave, and I was getting nowhere with my insurance. My doctor put in an immediate referral to a pain specialist outside of my mediCal network, and she was shocked to see me moving about and back to working. I had an awful limp and my foot dragged. I needed a cane, and the pain was unbelievable. We tried all sorts of nerve meds, oxycodone, shots, and finally hammered in an epidural shot to see if that'd help. It did not. In fact, it did not change anything at all. FINALLY I was approved for an MRI. I had three herniated disks. Two not so bad and would recover on their own. The middle disk of the three, so so badly extruded I had to be sent to a surgeon. The pain had gotten so incredibly bad, that I stopped eating and drank very little because it hurt too much to get up and go to the bathroom. I would get sick just standing and shook so bad that I couldn't hold anything. I dealt with this pain, in total, for seven months. Finally, I had relief. The procedure was more aggressive and a little complicated. But, in a nutshell, I was opened up and part of a vertebre was cut off to get to the damaged disk. Then it was removed and all scraped out, and a new disk put in. I have to say though, I felt wonderful after. I had to stay overnight, but I had never felt so good in my life. And the staff was amazing. The surgeon, Dr. Fox, was so impressed at how fast I had regained my strength.

Progress

Now I'm about 3 weeks into recovery, chugging along just fine with my walker. I'm learning how to walk again. Since I had lost function in my left foot and leg. My nerves are starting to heal, and that pain has been ebbing away. I can lift and move my legs more and more each day, wiggle my toes and rotate my feet. I'm still trying to get my balance and strength back, but I know I'll get there. Baby steps, and patience. I can't believe how much agonizing hell I had to go through, but I stayed strong, kept pushing, and I had a wonderful team of doctors on my side for once. That kept me positive, and I did my best to smile and keep myself occupied with texting or messaging friends. I knew if I didn't, I'd have folded and dropped out of the insurance tango. I missed Thanksgiving and Christmas because of this little charade. I have a long standing reputation for being stubborn, and spiteful. I guess this time it worked in my favor. Hah. I win. Also, I got a cool new stuffed animal thing out of the whole ordeal. And my favourite pharmacy tech sends me get well notes. I also rigged my selfie stick to my walker. For Facebook, Instagram, and of course, Pokemon Go. I'm housebound and walking back and forth for 10-20 minutes everyday is a drag without music and games. Thanks for taking the time to read my story. I appreciate it.

EMPOWER OTHERS!

Share this story to help change someone's life

WELCOME TO YOOCAN

THE GLOBAL COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITY FOR SHARING EXPERIENCES AND KNOWLEDGE BY AND FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES, SO NO ONE FEELS ALONE.

BY CREATING AN ACCOUNT YOU AGREE TO THE TERMS OF SERVICE AND PRIVACY POLICY.

Please provide your name to be displayed in the chat room.